Rafael Faces Steeper Fines, More Captains Charged in NOAA Filing
NEW BEDFORD — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is doling out more fines against Carlos Rafael and penalties for those associated with his illegal fishing operation.
On January 10, NOAA issued fines against Rafael totalling $983,528 and sought to revoke the operator permits for two scallop vessel captains.
On September 10, NOAA filed superseding charging documents in its civil administrative case against Rafael, increasing the total monetary penalties to $3,356,269. The documents also added 20 additional fishing vessel captains under Rafael as respondents. The filing seeks to revoke the operator permits of 17 of those captains.
In addition to the fines and operator permit revocations, the document also seeks to revoke 42 of Rafael's federal fishing permits while preventing Rafael or his captains from applying for federal permits in the future.
The document alleges that Rafael and his captains not only misreported fish and where they caught them, but also violated scallop regulations, gear or restricted area violations, and internal violations.
The new respondents named in the document have 30 days to respond to make requests for modifications to the charging document, administrative hearings to contest the charges, or additional time to respond.